Who wants to build a Mars Rover? University Rover Challenge 2019 – Requirements and Guidelines
The Mars Society’s University Rover Challenge challenges students to build remotely operated rovers that can accomplish a variety of tasks that might one day assist astronauts working on the surface of Mars. Rovers will compete in four missions: 1) a Science Mission to investigate a site for the presence of current or past life; 2) a Delivery Mission to deliver a variety of objects to astronauts in the field across rugged terrain; 3) an Equipment Servicing Mission to perform dexterous operations on a mock lander using a robotic arm; and 4) an Autonomous Traversal Mission to autonomously travel to a site and locate a marker.
The 2019 University Rover Challenge will be held May 30 – June 1, 2019 at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) near Hanksville, Utah, USA. The competition is open to both graduate and undergraduate students, although teams are permitted to include secondary (high school) students.
Any issues not covered by these published rule sets will be addressed on a case-by-case basis by the University Rover Challenge (URC) Director. Please consult the Questions and Answers (Q&A) portion of the URC web site (http://urc.marssociety.org) for updates. All matters addressed in the Q&A are applicable to the requirements and guidelines.
1. Competition Rules1.a. Schedule
Prospective teams will undergo a review and down-selection process, meaning that only teams who pass each milestone will be invited to compete in the field. Specific details for each deadline (including deliverable format, submission requirements, and judges’ expectations) will be posted to the URC web site (http://urc.marssociety.org). Judges may respond to teams with follow-up questions or requests for clarification at any of these milestones.
1.a.i. Declaration of Intent to Compete
Teams are required to register and declare their intent to compete no later than Friday, November 2, 2018. No significant deliverables are required for this deadline, aside from team details requested via the URC web site.
1.a.ii. Preliminary Design Review
Teams are required to submit a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) document no later than Friday, November 30, 2018. The PDR document is expected to focus on the team structure, resources, and project management plan (including a Gantt chart, initial budget, fund-raising plans, recruiting, and educational outreach). Technical details regarding the rover are highly encouraged but are not the main focus. Judges will be assessing each team’s overall level of readiness to compete in the URC competition. Teams will be assessed on their own merits, not against other teams. PDRs may be submitted as early as November 5, 2018, and will be reviewed by judges on a rolling basis.
1.a.iii. System Acceptance Review
Teams are required to submit a System Acceptance Review (SAR) Package no later than Friday, March 1, 2019. The SAR Package will focus on the overall system design, science plan, and progress to-date of the final system. The SAR Package will consist of both written and video components. The SAR is a competitive milestone and packages will be judged against other teams’ submissions by the judges. The 36 teams who score the highest in the SAR milestone will be invited to compete in the field.
1.a.iv. Field Competition
May 30 – June 1, 2019 at the Mars Society’s Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) near Hanksville, Utah, USA.